Garth ‘comes home’ to Nashville

Garth ‘comes home’ to Nashville

Final leg of World Tour

Garth Brooks will likely remember Saturday,
December 9, 2017 for a number of reasons. When he and wife Trisha Yearwood picked
up their mics at the afternoon press conference, he told us it was something of
a homecoming for them: the first time they had played Nashville since the
fundraiser following the ‘great Nashville flood’ of 2010.

As Trisha said, after three years on the
road, it was pleasant to realize they didn’t have to pack a suitcase. After
each of their Nashville shows, they could simply drive to their home in
Goodlettsville. Garth smiled at said, “Welcome to the end of the journey.”

December 9 also marked the official
announcement that Garth’s latest single, ‘Ask Me How I Know,’ reached Number
One on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart. It was his first Number One since
2007’s ‘More Than A Memory.’  To add
poignancy, December 9, 1989, was the date that Garth reached the Number One
spot for the first time with ‘If Tomorrow Never Comes.’

Oh, and Saturday was the eve of Garth and
Trisha’s wedding anniversary: they were married December 10, 2005. A memorable
weekend in so many ways.

Garth’s pre-show celebration

At a backstage party prior to Saturday’s
show at Bridgestone Arena, Garth and Trisha celebrated their return to
Nashville following an incredible tour that shattered every
record for attendance and ticket revenue. Awards were presented to Garth, one
after another, marking so many milestones in a unique career. Among his
astonishing achievements: he is the best-selling solo artist in the United
States with over 148 million domestic units sold, and over 160 million records
sold worldwide. 

He is also the only artist to have released
seven albums that reached diamond status, according to RIAA. (This is an even
greater achievement when you remember that he took a hiatus from recording
between 2001 and 2009 to focus more fully on being with his family.)

At the pre-show party, it was also
announced that Garth also tops the Nielsen BookScan chart with the Number One
non-fiction book, ‘The Anthology, Part One: The First Five Years.’

And then it was showtime. A packed
Bridgestone Arena was treated to a superb show that opened with a solo set from
singer/songwriter Mitch Rossell who wrote Garth’s current chart-topper, ‘Ask Me
How I Know.’ That song is Rossell’s first commercially released cut as a
songwriter, making it a memorable night for him, too.  Rossell was followed by a set by Karyn
Rochelle, a fine songwriter who co-penned ‘Red High Heels’ with Kelly Pickler.

Two+ hours of high energy

When Garth finally hit the stage, the
sold-out crowd erupted as he roared into ‘Let’s Lay Down and Dance,’ the
beginning of more than two hours of faultless high energy.  Garth is a master of handling a crowd.  At one point, without saying or singing a
word, he virtually ‘conducted’ the crowd like a mime.  For several minutes, he urged different
sections of the crowd to compete in the volume of the noise they could produce,
building to a deafening crescendo.

As he had pointed out at the press
conference, he understands an audience’s desire to hear the familiar hits and
he knows how to finesse the performance of lesser-known or current material
into his set. He didn’t disappoint, performing a string of crowd favorites,
including ‘The Thunder Roars,’ ‘Rodeo,’ ‘If Tomorrow Never Comes,’ and many
more. Trisha joined him onstage with some of her own hits including ‘She’s In
Love With the Boy’ and ‘Memphis.’

With all the records that Garth has already
broken, he isn’t done yet.  Although the
current World Tour is finally coming to an end, there’s no end in sight to his
unique and remarkable career, as much a tribute to his mastery of marketing as
to his amazing musical talent.  There’s
more to come.

Footnote:Mitch Rossell, who opened for Garth and also wrote the current Number One, may
be finding his first taste of success as a songwriter but he is no newcomer to
the music business. As he told the audience during his set, he’d been playing
music and writing songs as long as he could remember. He’d been in Nashville
for about five years, determined to make music his career. He looked around the
packed arena and said that before these tour dates with Garth, “I was playing
Tootsie’s bar at the Nashville Airport.” Aspiring artists and songwriters need
to remind themselves that ‘Nashville is a five-year town’ – or maybe a ten-year
town for some. Patience and perseverance win out in the end.

Article & PhotosBy Preshias Harris For Country Music News International

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